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Ford Freestyle Maintenance and Repair



  • For those of you thinking of doing the CVT fluid change yourself, here is what is on my bill:

    Varnish & gum in v/body, t/converter, pan, filter, lines & cooler. Remove old fluid. Replace fluid & conditioner. Parts Kit #BGTFK2.

    Installed 5F9Z 7B155 Y - filter for $80.15
    Installed XT 7 QCFT: fluid 6@13.68 = $82.08
    labor was $82.82

    They did a multi-point inspection as well (I guess that's where they look to pad the bill) and found nothing else wrong. BTW
  • Thanks danallan for sharing your experiences and giving us details. I agree with your opinion that the Freestyle is a winner.

    You were not taken by the dealership as far as the filter they put on (more on that below). It is a normal part of the 60,000 mile service. Your experience compares to post #1192 in this forum above.

    A bit of a mystery what all they charged you for, but most of it sounds good. Dealerships are notoriously odd about charges. Sometimes dealerships don't communicate well either.

    The BGTFK2 kit you mentioned is the only mystery here, the rest is good. I know that Ford, in my Freestyle maintenance schedule and also in the official Ford (Helm) Workshop Manual, says don't pull the pan and don't change the pan filter in the CVT. Only the high-pressure filter is supposed to be changed, not the pan filter. And, there is no flushing procedure available for the Freestyle. In fact, they specifically warn against flushing it since the fluid is so unique (can't risk mixing). Also, when I run the BGTFK2 number in google, I can't find anything in anybody's catalog. Therefore, what in the world was accomplished there?

    I'm thinking about making copies of the CVT 60,000 mile service procedure in the Ford Workshop manual for the Ford dealership before I go in, telling the Ford dealership to ONLY do that work and nothing else extra unless specifially authorized by me. Those guys can try to do unnecessary things.

    The 5F9Z7B155Y for $80.15 is also known as the Ford Motorcraft CVT High Pressure Filter/O-Ring Kit FT178, so that is the familiar correct part, and the FT178 can be purchased at or (Checker/Schucks/Kragen comprise partsamerica) for much cheaper. Dealership prices on parts are always high. Again, the separate pan filter should not be changed, only the FT178 high pressure filter should be changed.

    I've never seen the "per quart" price on the special CVT fluid, so thanks for communicating that ($13.68 and you used 6). Dealerships are the only place we can get that.
  • tpbctpbc Posts: 13
    Is that CVT fluid a "synthetic"?
  • "Is that CVT fluid a "synthetic"? "

    Probably is. Don't know. Special stuff only sold at Ford dealers. That stuff has to do it all: Lubes the big steel chain in there, and also the cone-pulley bearings, runs the hydraulic ratio shifting mechanism, and churns inside the low-speed torque convertor. Whew! I do not envy the engineers who designed the specs for that fluid.

    cartenb: Thanks for the CVT links. glencof in those other forums did what many of us did and got the official Workshop Manual. Its available on (search for Freestyle Workshop Manual and some will pop up). Its a 2 volume set, at least for the '05 and '06 model.
  • I believe I know what the "BGTFK2" is, It is a product sold by B.G. that is a trans precleaner and post flush additive. IT SHOULD NOT BE ADDED TO A CVT TRANS!!!! The dealer I work at uses these products but only on correct applications. The name B.G. is from their old co. called Bearings & Gears. They sell a whole line of additives including oil, trans, fuel injetor,cooling system, diff. and battery services. I have done many trans services on the CVT. The cost is about $300.00, 4-5qts. of the fluid, the filter and 2 hours labor. The left trans mount must be removed to gain access to the high pressure filter, hence the 2 hours labor.
  • Since I know where to put the gas and how to change an air filter completes my knowledge of working on a car....assuming you are correct that the Ford dealer in fact did use the trans cleaner and post flush when he should not have.....what do I do now? If I go and tell him he should not have done it...what then? Any recourse?

    I do appreciate your help....
  • danallan, I admit that fordwrench may have a better answer for you, but I would say go to the dealership and ask the dealership to admit their mistake and open the CVT drain pan again and replace whatever fluid drains out with new CVT fluid, at their expense. Then, make copies of and document the fact that they might have put the BG cleaner/post-flush additive in there, and send one copy to the Ford zone office for recording. Then keep a copy for yourself, and if the CVT ever fails, then pull it out and make a claim against Ford and the dealership, and in small-claims court if it goes that far. For not following Ford's recomendation they could be liable. Actually, with another CVT fluid change, it will probably be OK, so nothing bad will necessarily happen.
  • There are actually two possibilities as what happened here. One, the additives never actually made into the trans;if this is the case then the trans is ok and you just need to collect your money back. Two, if the additive was actually used I would follow what the last post suggested and document everything. Back to the first scenario alot of times the "menu" pricing will put the additive on the bill and the tech would be smart enough to not use it, that is I'm hoping for you in this case because the CVT is very sensitive to the fluid & if the additive was put in that trans I would say failure is not if but when!
  • You guys (I assume you are male...) are awesome help. I'll let you know how it pans out (pun intended..)
  • Here's the scoop....the code on my bill is pretty much a generic operational code for this specific dealer for tranny flush/change.. What they actually do can be quite different from what appears on the invoice. The service tech did make a note that he did a "CVT tranny fluid." The service mgr was very good at explaining to me why the invoice says one thing, while all the work done was according to Ford specs. He showed me another invoice where the exact same code was used for tranny work on an F-150.

    So the best proof, short of watching them actually do the work, is to trust them that they actually did the proper work. (plus the tech's note). Even if I did watch them do the work, I wouldn't know if they were doing it correctly anyways.

    He also said that because they only used 6 qts of fluid is also a very good indicator that they did the correct thing because the tranny holds 13...which syncs with what I have read here.

    I learned something and thank you guys for helping me.
  • danallan, Glad it worked out. False alarm there with the tranny flush.

    If I do the CVT fluid/filter change myself with the FT178 Motorcraft kit, is it OK to just measure the amount of fluid that comes out and replace it with the exact same amount of new juice? The Workship Manual describes a temperature dependent fluid level measuring procedure with a dipstick, and I was wondering if its possible to ignore that and just put the same amount of fluid back in that came out.
  • The filter does require that the trans mount be removed to gain access to the filter housing. You will need to support the trans during the filter replacement. Putting in the same amount of fluid that came out will work, but that would assume the level was correct to begin with. Using the dipstick is not all that complicated, there are cold and hot marks to help get the level right. Personally I would let a pro do it.
  • That settles it. I will have a pro do it. I'm getting the part myself for cheap, but I'll see if one of the Ford dealerships will put the CVT kit o-rings/filter on for me. I know it upsets the dealership owner & parts dept. people for me to tote in my own Motorcraft parts. Dealership parts prices are so high, it drove me to where I got a $45 FT178 CVT kit. I think they will play ball though and just charge me labor and shop supplies at the dealer. (No BG flush kit!.... ;) )
  • tacomaguytacomaguy Eugene, OregonPosts: 41
    My wife's '05 Freestyle AWD has only 23,000 on it. She's not driving it to work any more so it sits in the garage except for trips to the store. Should I have the transmission fluid changed at her next oil change? Is it the mileage or the length of time that is important? At her last oil change, she only had 1,000 miles on the car after 6 months. Not one problem with the car in almost four years
  • tacomaguy, I looked at Maintenance schedule -- click here and also my Freestyle's paper guide, and nowhere in there does it say you have to change the CVT fluid based on time. Only at 60,000 miles. Only motor oil and engine coolant needs to be changed at time or mileage, whichever comes first. Everything else seems to be based on miles alone. That being said, I'd not let the CVT fluid change go past 6 years, myself, if you haven't made it to 60,000 in that amount of time.
  • tacomaguytacomaguy Eugene, OregonPosts: 41
    Our '05 Freestyle Limited has the digital readouts and the switches on the steering wheel. Following the instructions in the manual, I just go in circles when trying to reset the oil life. Any helpful hints? Also, I would like to program in my own oil life interval. Do I have to reset the present oil life to 100% before I can enter my own interval?
  • haulthault Columbus OhioPosts: 126
    The 2005 Freestyle reset oil is get percent display on, then hold button in until it resets. The oil life is simply a 5000 mile count down. Nothing fancy. I don't believe you can change the settings. Ford now has a 7500 mile oil change setting. I use Amsoil and Amsoil filter and change once a year. I have 37,000 miles. Rear brakes early on was the only major problem. MPG in normal driving stays right around 19.
  • The oil life monitor is simple, but it also takes into account time as well as mileage when showing percentage. It extrapolates based on time, and shows the lowest percent of the two (time and mileage).

    Changing oil once a year is a good idea. However, the Ford Racing Parts CM-6731-FL820 has 250 sq. inches of filter surface area (synthetic blend media), while your Amsoil EAO11 has only 109 sq. inches. Also, look at bypass valve location and consider the Amsoil will flush dirt directly into your engine when bypass occurs, while the Ford Racing Parts one won't. For one-year oil changes, I go with the larger surface area and correct bypass valve location.
  • haulthault Columbus OhioPosts: 126
    Ford dealer is the one that told me the oil life monitor on the 2005 was simply 5000 miles. I have checked it myself at least three times and the dealer was correct. I don't know about the oil filter stuff. Each person and/or company has its own ideas as to what makes a good filter. I decided to go with the Amsoil filter to match their oil. I saw the stuff about the Ford Racing filter, but figured if it was superior to the regular long life filters they would use it on their cars. Does Ford recommend using the race filter on regular cars? I would switch if Ford said it was good for 6-12 month use. Let me know. I constantly strive for the best products. Thanks for the insight.
  • hualt, I know what you mean. I used the EAO11 in the past, and its good, although the Ford Racing Parts CM-6731-FL820 does seem to be the most heavy-duty, synthetic blend media, silicon antidrainback valve, correct location for bypass valve, most surface area filter media, oil filter you can buy. A car nut (God bless them) did a thorough analysis and has web pages to show one torn apart and analyzed at CM-6731-FL820 analysis/pictures -- click here. His main web page where he compares a bunch of filters is at: comparison -- click here
    I agree with the statement made by the oil filter web page guy: "If you are looking for the "best" filter for your Ford, regardless of cost, then in my opinion, this is the one. "

    Bottom line, the Ford Racing Parts oil filter is a direct replacement for the standard Motorcraft FL820S, as Ford themselves recommends.
  • The oil change message is triggered by either 5000 miles or 6 months.
  • tacomaguytacomaguy Eugene, OregonPosts: 41
    That is correct, bruneau1, my "Oil Life" message came on after 6 months. We have only put 1,700 miles on the car since the last oil change. The manual says you can re-program the interval but I haven't figured out how to get to those options. Did get the oil life to re-set after an hour of sitting in the car and trying various combinations of button pushing. It seems that I had to "push and hold" the reset button fairly quickly in order for it to "catch". If I paused a little, it wouldn't take.
  • 5 days out of warranty - yes five days - and my lift gate struts gave up. Dealer would not bend so I just bought the struts to change out. Has anyone done this yet? Just want to be sure to remove and replace without damaging anything. The parts counter wasn't much help. I realize it is a ball and socket but how do you get it off the ball? It looks like a built-in clip system but I do not want to force anything.

    Any help is appreciated.

  • jwm5jwm5 Posts: 3
    I had to do this a couple of months ago. It is really easy.
    You will need a second person to hold up the liftgate for you while you replace them. It is actually pretty heavy without the supports in place.

    They just attach to balls attached to the frame of the car.
    It takes a little effort, but just pop the old ones off, working one connection at a time. Don't worry, you won't break anything.

    Then pop the new ones on.
    I would suggest changing both at the same time.
  • red27red27 Posts: 2
    When I used Koons Ford on Rockville Pike it was wonderful. Arrive, hand keys over, serviced and out in 45 minutes.
    Not so at Lindsay Ford. First time I was booked in at 8.00am and did not get away until 1.00 pm. They took drive-ins before me and then lied that the car was being worked on when clearly it had not moved from the parking spot.
    Second time I booked in again, 9.00am this time and called beforehand to discuss my needs. Arrived at 9.00 and was told it would be two hours!! Just about to go back at 11.00am and got a call saying the rear brake pads needed to be replaced under the Ford recall scheme. So they had not even started on it anywhere near 9.00am. When I complained during the phone call the service manager got uppity with me.
    I am now told that it will be ready at 12.00. Another morning of missed work and appointments. Terrible old fashioned service mentality - we have you in a bind attitude - so they have just lost my custom and I am going to complain to Ford.
  • steverstever Posts: 52,572
    Please submit a review about your service experience in Dealer Ratings & Reviews too.
  • Our ck battery light has been on for 5000 miles. Initially it went on intermittently. I finally replaced the battery, which should have been done earlier cause it was pretty shot according to Pep boys. Then the light went back on, and stayed on. Probably an alternator will cure the light, but I shouldn't have to pay $400plus just to turn out a light. As I said, everything works fine except....the batt light stays on.
  • Well, I have a long, ongoing problem with my 60% seat not wanting to go back up. I took it to the dealer 3 times, but of course, they could get it to work. They denied ever seeing a TSB on it. I took it in to show them, then they magically pulled it up on their own. The seat went from being an intermittent issue to a permanent inability to basically use the seat for the purpose for which it was designed. People have gotten trapped in the back, etc. I asked the dealer that since I took it in 3 times before it was out of warranty and the TSB said that the parts needed to be replaced, even for an intermittent problems, would they fix it for free or a reduced price. They said no, of course, and quoted my $410 to fix it. Is that a reasonable price? And do I have a leg to stand on that they should have fixed it when I brought it in 3 times before the warranty was up and after the TSB came out? They said that unless it's recalled, they can't fix it for free. What say you smart and kind folks out there?
  • cmunizcmuniz Posts: 604
    I would elevate it up the chain at the dealership as far as the owner/manager (if you haven't already) and then ask for an appointment with the Ford Regional Service Manager. If that doesn't work I would contact the Ford customer service number and file a formal complaint against the dealer. I would also file a complaint with the local Better Business Bureau. There is no reason why that should not be a warranty fix since you brought it in multiple times for repair prior to the warranty expiring. In the current poor business climate I can't imagine a dealer or Ford alienating one of their customers. Fight this one to the bitter end - you deserve better from Ford.
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